KACST scientist wins US physics award

Updated 20 August 2014

KACST scientist wins US physics award

Dr. Ibtesam Saeed Badhrees, a leading woman research scientist in experimental particle physics at the National Center for Nanotechnology, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) Riyadh, has been selected as the first non-American woman for ‘Women Physicist of the Month’ award for August 2014 given by the American Physical Society (APS).
“APS, the world’s second largest organization for physicists with a non-profit membership, has chosen Dr. Badhrees as the first non-American woman-physicist to be granted the ‘Woman Physicist of the Month’ for August 2014 for her enriching role and positive impact on the physics community,” an official at KACST media department said on Tuesday.
APS has also nominated Dr. Badhrees to be a referee for scientific posters at APS international conference in April, the official said.
Moreover, she has received an invitation from the Committee on the Status of Women in Physics (CSWP), founded in 1972 to address the encouragement and career development of women physicists, to take part in its program entitled, “Development of professional skills of woman-physicists” which it will organize at Savannah, the oldest city in the US state of Georgia.
Confirming the distinguished honor, APS in a statement on its website said, “Ibtesam Saeed Badhrees, a leading research scientist in experimental particle physics, is not only a distinguished fellow of New Westminster College, but also the first Saudi woman with a PhD
to work in the National Center for Mathematics and Physics at KACST.”
“Her role with CERN, the world’s leading laboratory for particle physics, as the first and only Saudi woman to join the organization as a user researcher in 2006 is notable, apart from her service as a CERN courier in 2006 as in this role, she was published in several magazines and journals and participated in several interviews nationally and internationally.”
CERN, the European organization for nuclear research, is headquartered in Geneva.
Dr. Badhrees has received many awards throughout her career and gained much recognition including the Saudi Arabian cultural mission academic excellence award in 1996, 1997 and 2007.
APS further maintained that Dr. Badhrees, has on many occasions, provided services to the physics community through the organization of workshops and presentation of talks in different countries to trigger the enthusiasm and passion of the younger generation of scientists in natural science especially in the field of high energy physics.
APS is the leading voice for physics and an authoritative source of physics information for the advancement of physics and the benefit of humanity, as it also provides effective programs in support of the physics community and the conduct of physics besides its collaboration with national scientific societies for the advancement of science, scientific education and the science community.


Japan spacecraft starts yearlong journey home from asteroid

Updated 13 November 2019

Japan spacecraft starts yearlong journey home from asteroid

  • The spacecraft will travel 180 million miles on its journey back to Earth
  • It will bring back soil samples that provide clues to life in space

TOKYO: Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft departed from a distant asteroid on Wednesday, starting its yearlong journey home after successfully completing its mission to bring back soil samples and data that could provide clues to the origins of the solar system, the country’s space agency said.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said the spacecraft left its orbit around the asteroid Ryugu, about 300 million kilometers (180 million miles) from Earth.
Hayabusa2 on Wednesday captured and transmitted to Earth one of its final images of Ryugu, or “Dragon Palace,” named after a sea-bottom castle in a Japanese folk tale, as it slowly began moving away from its temporary home, JAXA said. Hayabusa2 will continue its “farewell filming” of the asteroid for a few more days.
Then Hayabusa2 will adjust its position on around Nov. 18 after retreating 65 kilometers (40 miles) from the asteroid and out of its the gravitational pull. It will then receive a signal from JAXA to ignite a main engine in early December en route to the Earth’s vicinity.
Hayabusa2 made touchdowns on the asteroid twice, despite difficulties caused by Ryugu’s extremely rocky surface, and successfully collected data and samples during its 1½-year mission since arriving there in June 2018.
In the first touchdown in February, it collected surface dust samples. In July, it collected underground samples for the first time in space history after landing in a crater it had earlier created by blasting the asteroid surface.
Hayabusa2 is expected to return to Earth in late 2020 and drop a capsule containing the precious samples in the Australian desert.
It took the spacecraft 3½ years to arrive at the asteroid, but the journey home is much shorter thanks to the current locations of Ryugu and Earth.
JAXA scientists believe the underground samples contain valuable data unaffected by space radiation and other environmental factors that could tell more about the origin of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago.
Asteroids, which orbit the sun but are much smaller than planets, are among the oldest objects in the solar system and may help explain how Earth evolved. Hayabusa2 scientists also said they believe the samples contain carbon and organic matter and hope they could explain how they are related to Earth.